ESPN Bet posts strong debut in Indiana, outpaces Barstool

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Image: Shutterstock / Jamie Lamor Thompson

Despite only being in operation half of the month, ESPN Bet already outperformed Barstool Sportsbook in Indiana. Across the first two weeks of operation, ESPN Bet accepted $27.5 million of the $513 million of bets taken in the state, accounting for 5% of the market.

By comparison, last year during November, Barstool only took around 3% of all handle despite being operational the entire month.

The performance by ESPN Bet puts it in fifth among operators. DraftKings led the way with $182 million and FanDuel was close behind with $175.6 million. Altogether, Indiana sportsbooks generated $30.7 million in adjusted gross revenue and $2.9 million in tax revenue for the state.

BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook were neck-and-neck with $37.3 million and $37.4 million respectively.

ESPN Bet was $10 million behind those two books, but with a full month of operation in December, Penn could conceivably close the gap very quickly. Indiana is not a state that reports promotional credit, so it is difficult to tell how much ESPN Bet spent to attain its handle for the month.

The coming months should welcome another competitor to the space as well. The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved the transfer of PointsBet’s license over to Fanatics. Currently, the PointsBet brand still operates in the state without any designation from Fanatics. In November, the operator accepted a little over $8 million in wagers.

Handle was up from $452 million in 2022 to $513 million in 2023 despite added competition from neighboring Ohio and Kentucky.